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Baht Advances on Optimism Growth Outlook Will Lure Investors

Thailand’s baht rose on optimism overseas investors will add to holdings of the nation’s assets to benefit from growth in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

Global funds bought $179 million more Thai shares than they sold in the first three days of this month, boosting net purchases for the year to $1.8 billion. A government report due this week will show China, Thailand’s biggest overseas market, imported more goods and services for a 13th consecutive month in November, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

“Solid economic growth is drawing investors into Thailand,” said Hideki Hayashi, a global economist at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Rising imports in China would be positive for the baht. The currency may trade with a slightly stronger bias this week.”

The baht advanced 0.2 percent to 30.00 per dollar as of 3:33 p.m. in Bangkok from Dec. 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Onshore financial markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday. The currency may trade between 29.80 and 30.10 this week, Hayashi said.

Thailand’s gross domestic product may expand as much as 8 percent this year, the fastest pace since 1995, the central bank predicted on Oct. 28.

China’s imports climbed 24.5 percent in November from a year earlier after having increased 25.3 percent the previous month, according to the median forecast of economists before data due on Dec. 10. China bought about 11 percent of Thai shipments in the first 10 months of this year, government data show.

Government bonds fell. The yield on the 3.125 percent debt due in December 2015 rose one basis point from Dec. 3 to 3.13 percent, the highest level since May, according to Bloomberg data. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

The one-year onshore interest-rate swap, the fixed cost needed to receive a floating payment, fell five basis points from Dec. 3 to 1.63 percent.

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